Based on some historical evidence, this inspiring story relates how, in the middle of winter at Valley Forge, General George Washington meets a Jewish soldier; an immigrant from Poland who is celebrating the first night of Hanukkah. As the soldier retells the Hanukkah story to the general, Washington’s faith is renewed, and he begins to believe in the possibility that his ragtag army can also win against a larger foe. He says to the soldier, “We too have a cruel enemy who leaves us only with the choice of brave resistance or abject submission.” Greg Harlin’s beautiful watercolor illustrations bring this poignant tale to life. Children will be proud to know that a chance encounter with a Jewish soldier may have given General Washington the courage to continue the battle for independence of the United States. For ages 7 – 10.
Diane Levin Rauschwerger is librarian for Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA, and has worked as a children’s librarian for the Sunnyvale Public Library. She is the author of a series of children’s picture books, including Dinosaur on Hanukkah, Dinosaur on Passover, and Dinosaur on Shabbat, published by Kar-Ben Publishing.